Last updated: August 13th, 2014
It’s no secret: websites matter. Whether you’re part of a company that’s been around for decades or just a few years, if you take the time to look back over the marketing tactics that have been most influential over the course of your company’s existence, your website probably stands out as one of the most important.
Your company website is your bill board to the world, the way to connect with more people than any other mean or method. It’s a way to bring in customers and clients that may have never found you through traditional outreach or marketing techniques.
However, just because you have a working website, it doesn’t mean that it’s doing the job. Websites are not stagnant print ads that are timeless. They’re meant to be changed, to be a continual work in progress, a way to reach out to your target marketing demographic on a regular basis.
Check out the eight signs below that your website may be in desperate need of a makeover.
Signs your company website needs to change:
Lack of new traffic
In most cases, the most important indicator of a website’s success are in the numbers. Step back for a moment; if you are unable to track your numbers because of a lack of a reliable analytics campaign, your site needs a makeover.
If, however, your site has an analytics account or integration that tracks the numbers, look at them carefully. How many new and unique visitors did your site attract last month? How does this compare to the past year as a whole? If your numbers have dropped or stayed stagnant, chances are, it’s time for a makeover.
Side note: While you’re checking out the numbers, pay attention to the bounce rate and average time spent on your site as well. These are all important.
No social media integration
It’s a global trend: social media has become the number one way to connect with others online, this includes your target audience. In fact, according to the Business Insider, social media is the number one activity on the web. The fastest growing demographic? Those aged 55-64. It’s not just teens and college students. Mostly everyone is participating in social media activities in one form or another.
Because of this, your website should link to your social media accounts. It should make it easy for activities, posts and general information to be shared from one site to the next. If your site does not allow for this, you could be missing an important group of potential clients or customers.
Slow or confusing navigation system
Modern websites are easy to use, which means they’re easy to navigate. They make it simple to bounce from one page to another and back. They include pages that are broken into smaller segments and aren’t text heavy. To put it simply, they’re focused on the user experience.
If your site includes a lot of “hidden” information that is not readily accessible from the front page’s navigation, your structure could use an update.
Little or no SEO
How does your target market find you online? Chances are most do not come by directly typing in your URL, they come from search engines. Because of this, having a site that is search engine optimized is critical for growth.
Not sure if your site is optimized? Search for a phrase that you’d hope would bring up your site on one of the major search engines, Google or Bing. Do you show up on the first page? The second? Try another phrase. If you’re having trouble finding your site, your potential clients will have the same issue and will probably move on to one of your competitors.
In a recent study conducted by the Search Engine Journal, it came to light that 70-80 percent of internet searches ignore paid ads and prefer to focus on organic search results. For your site to reach the masses having a proper Google SEO strategy matters.
Dated graphics and content
Take a look at your site, or ask an outsider to do it for you. Does your content fit in with the more modern websites? Are the graphics and design clean and relative, or are they dated? Is your content updated regularly or are their pieces of information that don’t pertain to your company’s current operations?
Users want to interact with companies that take the time to stay current; your site should reflect this effort. Do you have a blog? Do you update it regularly? If the answer is no, a site makeover should be in your near future.
Not optimized for everyone
According to a recent Pew Internet Research Study, 56 percent of American adults currently own a smartphone and that number is predicted to rise rapidly over the past year. Why does this matter? Your potential clients are not sitting in front of desktops to look for information anymore. Instead, they’re looking for quick information on the go, easily accessed from a small screen without a processor.
Your site should work just as well and at the same speed on a smart phone as on a desktop. It should be easy to navigate or frustrations will rise and you could once again be seen as dated. Better yet, you may even want to create a downloadable app that makes the mobile viewing experience even more pleasant. Whether on a traditional computer, a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone, your site should operate consistently.
You’ve probably put a lot of time into your company’s brand. It’s the way your clients and consumers can feel assured that they’re working with a company that’s taken the time to consider their values and to impart them as a part of daily operations. Your site should reflect this.
If your color scheme or logo varies from your printed material to your website, it sends a confusing brand message, which works against what you intend. Be sure that your branding is clear and consistent. This might also be a great time to consider a whole rebranding process, while you build the new site, if your company is in need of one.
Your site feels “behind” or you constantly see areas to improve
One of the easiest ways to assess if your website is in need of a makeover is how you feel about it. Are you frustrated by the site or its lack of capabilities? Do you think it feels “behind” your competition or doesn’t live up to your expectations? What is the vibe you get when you take the time to look at your website from a non-biased perspective?
If any of these questions relate to how you feel about your own website, it’s probably time to look at ways to make improvements. Remember, websites should be a current, accurate reflection of your company. If your site is not, a makeover is something to look into; your professional reputation may depend on it.
About Author: Courtney Gordner is a blogger with a passion for all things internet, social media and SEO! Read more from her on her own blog, www.talkviral.com